The addition of wholemeal flour makes these Easter classics wholesome and nutty, while the lemony butter adds decadence to homely hot cross buns
Makes 12 buns
250g strong white flour
200g strong wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp easy bake yeast
50g golden caster sugar
50g candied peel
50g butter, room temperature
150ml hand-hot milk
75ml hand-hot water
1 egg, beaten
for the crosses
75g plain flour
5 tbsp water
for the glaze
3 tbsp apricot jam
1 Sieve the flours, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon into a bowl and add the yeast, sugar, currants and peel.
2 Give it a quick stir, then make a well in the centre and drop in the butter, followed by the warmed milk and water, and the egg. Mix well with a wooden spoon and then go in with your hands and knead, adding a little more milk if the mix feels too dry.
3 Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for around two hours, or until it has doubled in size.
4 Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it briefly again, then divide
it into 12 pieces. Roll each into a bun shape in your hands and place onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment, leaving space for each to rise. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for a further 45 mins or so, until doubled again.
5 Heat the oven to 220C/Fan 200/425F while you make the crosses. Mix the flour and the water to a thick paste, spoon into a piping bag and pipe on the crosses. Bake for around 15 mins.
6 Meanwhile, heat the apricot jam in a small pan and then sieve it to remove pieces of fruit. Remove the buns from the oven, place on a wire cooling rack, and paint immediately with the glaze. Allow to cool a little before eating, or cool completely and split and toast.
Whipped honey lemon butter
Smother your hot cross buns with this for a true taste of Ostara
4 tbsp honey
zest of 1 lemon
1 Chop the butter into cubes and drop it into a bowl of lukewarm water, then leave it for at least five mins, until really soft. Drain off the water and tip the butter, honey and zest into a large bowl.
2 Use a wooden spoon to beat until all is combined and the butter is creamy. Use straight away or put into a ramekin and chill.
Lia Leendertz is a freelance gardening writer and the author of several books, including My Tiny Veg Plot and My Cool Allotment. Her first cookery book, Petal, Leaf, Seed: Cooking with the Garden’s Treasures is out on 28 April. lialeendertz.com